Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hard to Hold on to by Laura Kaye - #BLOGTOUR #BOOKREVIEW #GIVEAWAY #DEPRESSION @laurakayeauthor

Title: Hard To Hold On To
Series: Hard Ink #2.5
Author: Laura Kaye
Release Date: August 19, 2014

Edward "Easy" Cantrell knows better than most the pain of not being able to save those he loves—which is why he is not going to let Jenna Dean out of his sight.  He may have just met her, but Jenna's the first person to make him feel alive since that devastating day in the desert more than a year ago. 

Jenna has never met anyone like Easy. She can't describe how he makes her feel--and not just because he saved her life. No, the stirrings inside her reach far beyond gratitude.

As the pair are thrust together while chaos reigns around them, they both know one thing: the things in life most worth having are the hardest to hold on to. 

Amazon | | Amazon UK | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

Hard to Come By (11/25/14)
Hard to Be Good (3/10/15)
Untitled (7/28/15)

Did you know Laura is donating the proceeds of all the sales from the first two weeks to a national non-profit that assists wounded veterans?

For Hard As You Can:
"TOP PICK! There is a sinister and desperate edge to this tale that will keep readers glued to their seats. Kaye has dark romantic suspense nailed!" ~ RT Book Reviews Magazine

"Hard As You Can is another five star read. The characters Ms. Kaye has created are wonderfully broken and the drama is gritty, but the burgeoning romance and the tight-knitted relationship of the team leaves you with a sense of redemption. A must read series!" ~San Francisco Book Review

For Hard As It Gets:
"Edgy, sexy and full of suspense!  A great read from a great new author!" ~ #1 NYT Bestselling Author J.R. Ward

"Sizzling romance... The intriguing tattoo parlor and military background will appeal to fans of Suzanne Brockmann and Lindsay McKenna." ~Publishers Weekly Review

"Kaye's depiction of sexual tension and her sex scenes are masterful and this will appeal to fans of Maya Banks' KGI and Julia Ann Walker's Black Knight's series." ~Booklist

 Laura Kaye
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

I love all of Laura Kaye's books and have been so into the Hard Ink Series from the start.  I love all the guys and want my own little Eileen puppy.  "Hard To Hold On To" is a shorter novella than the other Hard Ink books, but it was very powerful.  For me, personally, it hit very close to home (see below).  

The characters of Easy and Jenna were introduced in "Hard As It Gets" and "Hard As You Can" and we saw the beginnings of their relationship in "Hard As You Can."  Easy showed up in the first two books as quiet and unassuming.  In "Hard To Hold On To" we find out why he's so quiet.  He suffers from PTSD in the form of depression.  He doesn't feel worthy and at times wants to just give up. 

Jenna has suffered her whole life with epilepsy and is just getting over a brutal abduction in which she was hurt.  Jenna is very young and has been sheltered by her sister for years, but after everything she goes through she grows up fast. 

Easy is the only person Jenna will turn to.  She forms a bond with him and trusts him above all others.  They connected in the last book and their connection grows here.  Jenna's trust in Easy helps him to cope with issues and the bond is powerful.

This is a must read for all fans of military men, Laura Kaye, romance, or anyone.  November 25th and the release of "Hard To Come By" can't come soon enough!

4.5 STARS!

I debated about whether to write this, but with Robin William's death depression seems to be out in the open so I thought I'd share my own experience. 

While not in the military my husband suffers from depression.  There were a lot of factors that led to this (the deaths of both his parents, loss of his job a few years ago, medical issues, and other issues I won't get into).  And just this past June my 13 year old son was diagnosed with fairly severe depression.  My husband is now doing well and my son is on the mend, but I can say that it is scary to watch.  

Depression really does affect everyone.  We live in an upper middle class neighborhood.  My husband is a professional with degrees from some of the top schools in the country.  He went to a start up company and it failed.  He then tried to start his own company, but he was struggling with depression and couldn't motivate.  The cycle repeated itself.  Since he couldn't motivate he wasn't making money which caused the depression to get worse.  He's been in treatment now for two years and his business is now booming.  

My son is the top of his class (he is the very top student in his grade and if this continues he will be valedictorian).  My son is also a great athlete and musician.  He's very popular (the girls have been calling for a few years now) and he's friends with everyone.  He's stopped kids from bullying others and takes some of the less popular kids under his wing.  Everyone always tells me how "put together" he seems and how great a kid he is.  Did I mention that he's also tall, fit,  blond and blue-eyed?

He is a great kid, but what he shows the outside world is not what he shows his family and what he has going on inside him.  Last year was real tough year for him.  He puts on a great act, but inside he was hurting.  We struggled through a very hard year with tears, tantrums, and scary thoughts.  We tried to take pressures off of him and decrease his stress, but nothing worked.  I quit my job so that I could give him a relaxing summer doing nothing.  That, medication, and counseling have helped.  My son is now being treated for his depression and seems to be in a much better place.  We start school this week so we'll see.  

The past couple of years have been a bit of a rollercoaster for my family.  My husband and I have two other kids and even though they don't have depression and neither do I it has affected all of us in different ways.

I strongly urge anyone with depression, whether military or not, to seek help.  It is real.  There is nothing to be ashamed of, and there are people who can help you!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost - #BLOGTOUR #BOOKREVIEW #GIVEAWAY @Jeaniene_Frost @RockStarPRLC

the beautiful ashes
Title: The Beautiful Ashes
Series: Broken Destiny #1
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Release Date: August 26th, 2014

In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.
Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who's bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.
Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn't mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn't: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…

the beautiful ashes
 Amazon | BN

Jeaniene Frost

Jeaniene Frost is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of the Night Huntress series, the Night Prince series, and the upcoming Broken Destiny series. To date, foreign rights for her novels have sold to twenty different countries. Jeaniene lives in North Carolina with her husband Matthew, who long ago accepted that she rarely cooks and always sleeps in on the weekends. Aside from writing, Jeaniene enjoys reading, poetry, watching movies with her husband, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and traveling – by car. Airplanes, children, and cook books frighten her.
For information on Jeaniene's books, reading the first 20% of each book free, book trailers, deleted scenes, creature mythology, and more, please visit:

A familiar song was playing, but I couldn’t remember the name. That bugged me enough to open my eyes. A wall of black met my gaze, slick and smooth like glass. I reached up to see what it was, and that’s when I realized my hands were tied.
“Silent Lucidity” by Queensryche, my mind supplied, followed immediately by, I’m in the backseat of a car. One that was well taken care of, going by that flawless, shiny roof. With those details filled in, I also remembered what had happened right before I’d passed out. And who I was with.
“Why are my hands tied?” I said, heaving myself into an upright position.
For some reason Adrian didn’t have a rear view mirror, which was why he had to glance over his shoulder to look at me.
“Does anything make you panic?” he asked, sounding amused. “You’re tied up in the backseat of a cop-killer’s car, but I’ve seen people get more upset when Starbucks runs out of pumpkin spice flavor.”
Anyone normal would panic, not that it would do any good. Besides, I ran out of “normal” a long time ago, when I realized I saw things no one else did.
Speaking of which, why wasn’t I in pain? The lump where Mrs. Paulson had whacked me was gone, and my shirt was red from blood, but aside from a mild kink in my neck, I felt fine. When I pushed my shirt up, somehow, I wasn’t surprised to see smooth, unbroken skin on my abdomen. Well, that and a bunch of crumbs, like I’d eaten a dessert too messily.
“Why does it look like I have angel food cake on my stomach?” I wondered aloud.
Adrian snorted. “Close. It’s medicine. You were injured.”
“You can tell me how I’m not anymore,” I said, holding out my bound hands, “after you untie me.”
Another backwards glance, this one challenging.
“You may be the calmest person I’ve ever been sent to retrieve, but if I tell you now what you want to know, that will change. So pick—the  truth, or being untied?”
“Truth,” I said instantly.
He let out a laugh. “Another first. You’re full of surprises.”
So was he. He’d just admitted that he regularly kidnapped people—which was how I translated “retrieve”—so I should be trying my damnedest to get free. But more than anything, I needed answers. Besides, I still wasn’t afraid of him, and somehow, that had nothing to do with him magically healing me.
“Truth, Adrian,” I repeated.
He turned once again and his gaze locked with mine, those odd blue eyes startling me with their intensity. For a moment, I could only stare, all thought frozen in my mind. I don’t know why I reached out, awkwardly touching his arm to feel the hard muscles beneath that bulky jacket. If I’d thought about it, I wouldn’t have done it. Yet I couldn’t make myself pull away.
Then I gasped when his hand covered mine. At some point, he’d taken off his gloves, and the feel of his warm, bare skin sent a shock wave through me. The touch seemed to affect Adrian, too. His lips parted and he edged over the back of the seats—
He yanked on the steering wheel, narrowly avoiding another car. A horn blared, and when the driver passed us, an extended middle finger shook angrily in our direction. I leaned back, my heart pounding from the near collision. At least, that’s what I told myself it was from.
Dyate,” Adrian muttered.
I didn’t recognize the word, and I was at a loss to place his accent. It had a musical cadence like Italian, but beneath that was a harsher, darker edge.
“What’s that language?” I asked, trying to mask the sudden shakiness in my voice.
This time, he didn’t take his eyes off the road. “Nothing you’ve heard of.”
“I picked truth, remember?” I said, holding up my bound hands for emphasis.
That earned me a quick glance. “That is the truth, but you don’t get more until you meet Zach. Then we can skip all the ‘this isn’t possible’ arguments.”
I let out a short laugh. “After what I saw on Detective Kroger’s face, my definition of ‘impossible’ has changed.”
Adrian swerved again, but this time, no other car was near.
“What did you see?”
I tensed. How did I explain without sounding insane? No way to, so I chose to go on the attack instead.
“Why were you in my hotel room? And how did you heal me? There isn’t even a mark—”
“What did you see on his face, Ivy?”
Despite his hard tone, when my name crossed his lips, something thrummed inside me, like he’d yanked on a tie I hadn’t known was there. Feeling it was as disturbing as my inexplicable reaction to his clasping my hands.
“Shadows,” I said quickly, to distract from that. “He had snakelike shadows all over his face.”
I expected Adrian to tell me I’d imagined it, a response I was used to hearing. Instead, he pulled over, putting the car in park but keeping the engine running. Then he turned to stare at me.
“Was that the only strange thing you saw?”
I swallowed. I knew better than to talk about these things. Still, I’d demanded the truth from Adrian. It didn’t seem fair to lie in return.
“I saw two versions of the same B and B earlier. One was pretty, but the other was old and rotted, and my sister was trapped inside it.”
Adrian said nothing, though he continued to pin me with that hard stare. When he finally spoke, his question was so bizarre I thought I’d misheard him.
“What do I look like to you?”
“My appearance.” He drew out the words like I was slow. “Describe me.”
All of a sudden, he wanted compliments? I might have finally met someone crazier than me.
“This is ridiculous,” I muttered, but started with the obvious. “Six-six, early twenties, built like Thor, golden brown hair with blond highlights, silvery blue eyes…you want me to go on?”
He began to laugh, a deep, rich baritone that would’ve been sensual except for how angry it made me.
“Now I know why they came after you,” he said, still chuckling. “They must’ve realized you were different, but if they’d known what you could see, you never would’ve made it out of that B and B.”
“You can stop laughing,” I said sharply. “I get that it’s crazy to see the things I do.”
Lots of kids had imaginary friends growing up. I had imaginary places, though at first, I didn’t know I was the only one who could see them. Once my parents had realized that what I kept describing went far beyond childhood fancifulness, the endless doctor visits and tests began. One by one, diseases and psychoses had been crossed off until I was diagnosed with a non-monoamine-cholinergic imbalance in my temporal cortex.
In other words, I saw shit that wasn’t there for reasons no one could figure out. The pills I took helped a little, though I lied and said they got rid of all my hallucinations. I was sick of doctors poking at me. So whenever I saw something that no one else did, I forced myself to ignore it—until Mrs. Paulson and Detective Kroger had tried to kill me, of course.
Adrian did stop laughing, and that unblinking intensity was back in his gaze.
“Well, Ivy, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is, you’re not crazy. The bad news is, everything you’ve seen is real, and now, it’ll be coming for you.”

I read all of the Night Huntress books by Jeaniene Frost and was anxiously anticipating her new series.  I've read a few negative reviews of the Beautiful Ashes before receiving an ARC.  After reading this book I'm not sure where those reviewers are coming from.  This book is not about Cat and Bones.  That series is over.  Move on!  This a new series, with completely different characters and different settings, BUT it's just as good.  If you're expecting Cat, Bones, and all the others from the Night Huntress series you might be disappointed, but if you let yourself get into this series you won't be disappointed

This book has more of a Young Adult feel than the Night Huntress series so that means it's open to more people.  It is still somewhat steamy and there is definitely passion, but it's not excessive and you can feel comfortable having young adults read this.  I'm planning on buying a copy for my 15 year old daughter to read because I know she'd love it just as much as I did. 

Adrian and Ivy are great characters.  When Ivy's sister disappears she realizes that her whole life is not what she thought it was.  She discovers a whole new world around her and that she has many abilities she never knew about.  Adrian helps her to hone her abilities.  She is young (only 20), but she is very strong emotionally (and later, physically).  She doesn't take crap.  

Adrian is a gorgeous, strong man, also with many abilities.  He struggles with his destiny and tries to stay away from Ivy, but ending up with Ivy is inevitable and so is their love.  

This was a great book for all to read.  I can't wait for the next in the series and I'm sad that I have to wait for a while.  I give the Beaitiful Ashes:



Saturday, August 23, 2014

Undeniably You by Jewel E. Ann - #REVIEW @JewelE_Ann @RockStarPRLC

Title:  Undeniably You
Author:  Jewel E. Ann
Release Day:  August 18, 2014

One crazy dog––one awkward vet––one naked pool guy––and one life-changing month in California to make friends, fall in love, and twist fate.
Who gets paid to walk a dog and recline by the pool all day? Sydney Montgomery, aspiring museum curator and professional house-sitter, that’s who.
When her aunt and uncle need a house and dog sitter for thirty days in Palo Alto, Sydney can’t turn down the chance to be closer to her sister in L.A. Within twenty-four hours of her arrival, Sydney’s cleaning up runny dog poo, taking an uncooperative pooch to a handsome yet awkward vet, and being rescued from the bottom of the pool by a naked “pool guy.”
Lautner, “pool guy,” has a hot body and a cool persona. With eyes of iridescent blue oceans, he is mesmerizing, sexy, and addictive. What he is not––the pool guy.
Dr. Lautner Sullivan is a college wide receiver turned pediatric resident. He knows how to woo a woman with flowers, pastries, and sweet tea. Lautner is every girl’s dream, but Sydney is not every girl. She’s immune to rainbows, fairytales, pixy dust, and the “L” word.
The attraction is immediate, the friendship is earned, and the love is undeniable. Thirty days is their forever, but forever is not long enough.

I pour a glass of iced tea and start to walk toward the deck. Then I turn around and pour another glass. “Hospitality is a good thing,” I tell myself, needing only to convince the rational part of my brain.

“Tea?” I offer, walking over to the pool.

Aaron sets the skimmer net along the side of the pool.

“Thank you.” The smirk on his face is suspicious and makes me feel like I’m missing some inside joke. He takes the glass from me and I move past him to get a closer look at the pool because I can’t look at him without his shirt and not break into a sweat.
“What are you skimming?”

“Nothing really. I’m stirring the water,” he says matter-of-factly.

This guy is not for real. What does he mean by “stirring the water?” He’s up to something. It’s obvious why Aunt Elizabeth hired him. She must properly clean the pool after he leaves so Trevor doesn’t get suspicious and fire his ass … a very fine ass I will confess.

“And why is it you need to stir the water?” I turn toward him and my eyes dart straight to his broad muscular chest and well-defined abs all kissed by the sun. Jeez, he’s too perfect and I’m … something. Distracted? Mentally lethargic? Crazy? Horny? BINGO!
“So there’s an even consistency of chemicals when I test the water.”

My mouth is agape and I cannot stop looking at him. He bends down to physically capture my attention. Shit! I show no shame staring at his bare chest.

“Hello?” he says, forcing my eyes back to his.

Shaking the inappropriate thoughts from my head, I take a quick sip of my drink to mask my embarrassment.
“Do I need to put my shirt back on?”

I choke on my tea. “No––” I can’t stop coughing. “I mean––” Clearing my throat, I notice his cocky smile. “Put your shirt on or leave it off. Why would I care?”

God, Sydney, could you be a bigger disaster today? The flap of the dog door distracts me. Swarley leaps down the deck stairs. Aaron hunches down like a lineman in anticipation of his overzealous greeting. The problem is, as Swarley races closer I realize he’s not aiming for Aaron. He’s aiming for––

“Oh shit!” I’m catapulted backwards into the pool.

My body makes its descent to the bottom while I open my eyes to see the blurry magnification of Mr. Sex on Legs pool guy standing at the edge looking down at me. I’m considering seeing how long I can hold my breath. Maybe he’ll decide to leave and I can surface from the depths of my own personal Hell without an audience.

Yes! That’s it. I can do this.

I still hold many records from my high school swimming career. Holding my breath until he leaves should be easy. Unless he decides to be heroic and jumps in to save me. Not a bad scenario either. Then at least we’ll both be drenched in our clothes.
Like a leaky raft, I release my breath one bubble at a time and take a seat at the bottom of the pool. Ha! He’s emptying his pockets. Looks like I won’t be the only drowned rat. Wait. What the hell? No he’s not. Oh dear God, yes he is. Sex on legs dives into the pool, sans shorts and underwear! The two haunting notes from Jaws sound in my head while I scramble to the surface in the opposite direction, desperate to get away from him.

The sweet relief of air filling my lungs is squashed by the anxiety of being chased by a naked stranger.
“Oh my God! What are you doing?” A frantic yell breaks out with the remaining breath in my lungs while I swim toward the ladder, barely escaping him. I leap out of the pool with superhuman speed. Wrapping my arms around myself, I scramble to the pool house, my heart racing and my whole body shaking as I fumble for a towel.

“The water feels great today.” His voice sounds behind me.

I whip around and gasp, wide eyed. A wet, naked, sinful-as-a-hot-fudge-sundae body greets me a few feet away. Hands fisted, his arms are casually crossed at his wrists covering part of his junk in the front. The perfect cover to Sports Illustrated stands before me, and all I want to do is smack him across the face to wipe the stupid smirk off it. Then, of course, I want to jump him and rub every sensitive part of my body against his, because right now I’m so pissed and so turned on, I need to dive into the pool again before I self-combust.
“Finish up and get out,” I mumble as I toss him a towel and stomp toward the house. On my way, I pass Swarley beached out in a lounge chair by the pool.

“Evil demon dog!” I scowl at him.


Want more? Take a peek at the epilogue and chapter 1 of Undeniably You!

 Undeniably You Cover 

  Jewel E. Ann
Jewel E Ann

Jewel is a free-spirited romance junkie with a quirky sense of humor.

With 10 years of flossing lectures under her belt, she took early retirement from her dental hygiene career to stay home with her three awesome boys and manage the family business.  
After her best friend of nearly 30 years suggested a few books from the Contemporary Romance genre, Jewel was hooked. Devouring two and three books a week but still craving more, she decided to practice sustainable reading, AKA writing.
When she's not donning her cape and saving the planet one tree at a time, she enjoys yoga with friends, good food with family, rock climbing with her kids, watching How I Met Your Mother reruns, and of course…heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, panty-scorching novels.

Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Goodreads | Website

A few months ago I read Jewel E. Ann's Holding You and Releasing Me and I absolutely loved them.  When I saw that Jewel E. Ann was releasing another book, Undeniably You, I jumped at the chance to read it.  And I'm so glad I did.  I loved Undeniably You.  

Once I started reading it I didn't want to put it down.  This book was sad, funny, and happy all rolled in together. 

Sydney knows what she wants from life and is willing to sacrifice her own happiness for future happiness.  Lautner knows what he wants too.  Both are completely committed to their careers (or future careers) and meet at the wrong time.  They both say that their relationship can only be a short fling, but right away we know differently.  Lautner and Sydney had a once in a lifetime kind of love.  I don't want to give anything away, but the pain the two go through to get their HEA was so sad.  

But, as I said, the book was also happy and funny.  There are so many humorous scenes (mostly involving the dog).  And many, many happy moments.

I strongly recommend this and Jewel E. Ann's other books to all!

4 1/2 stars

Friday, August 22, 2014

An Indecent Affair, Part I by Stephanie Julian - #FREE @StephanieJulian

FREE for a Limited Time!!!

One night. One woman. Two men. Twice the desire.
Katrina refuses to give in to her mother’s demand to marry a man she can’t stand. After years of trusting no one with her heart or her body, she wants to be swept off her feet, to experience complete surrender, if only for one night.
Tristan has lusted after Katrina for years and tonight he’s making his move. He’ll steal her away from his brother, who doesn’t deserve her. Then he and his best friend, Adam, will give her exactly what she wants…

Get An Indecent Affair Part 1 for FREE!!

Available on Amazon / Kobo / iBooks


Stephanie Julian

Stephanie Julian 
I'm a reformed reporter who enjoys making up stories much more than writing about real life.
In sixth grade, I found my mother's stash of romance novels hidden under her bed and realized they were much more interesting than the books in the school library. I devoured Rosemary Rogers, Bertrice Small and, most especially, Kathleen Woodiwiss.
In college, I majored in English and continued to expand my favorites list. Shakespeare, the Canterbury Tales, the Bronte sisters, Mary Shelley. Then I graduated and discovered there wasn't much I could do with an English degree.
That's when I found out they would pay me to write for a living at a newspaper. Want to learn how to write tight and clean? Work for a daily local and condense a three-hour meeting with an angry mob of residents upset about a sewer system overhaul into 15 inches in 20 minutes.
After my sons were born, I freelanced, working at home in my drafty attic office, and developed a two-book-a-day Harlequin habit that turned into a writing habit. My first attempts at romance were firmly rooted in the Harlequin tradition and I sold my first two romances to Avalon Books under the name Stephanie Scott.
But writing sweet romances was not what I'd had in mind. I wanted to write books where people actually got to have sex. I contracted my first erotic romance to Ellora's Cave and never looked back.
I write sexy series that combine heat with heart. Four are linked by Etruscan Magic: Magical Seduction, Lucani Lovers, Forgotten Goddesses and Darkly Enchanted. I also write the silly-funny, super-sexy Lovers on the Fringe series and the straight contemporary DeMarco Investigations series. I'm also writing the serial menage, INDECENT.
BY PRIVATE INVITATION, NO RESERVATIONS and OVER EXPOSED comprise the contemporary erotic romance series, Salon Games.
I'm happily married to a Springsteen fanatic and I'm the mother of two sons who introduced me to the joys of Slipknot, Warped Tour and never-ending headaches.